Updated 11 p.m.
According to unofficial results, a $497.7 million bond referendum proposed by Lone Star College System has fallen short of voter approval. With all precincts reporting across Harris and Montgomery counties, 55.6 percent of voters voted against the bond and only 44.4 percent favored it.
"We are obviously disappointed in the results," said Ray Laughter, LSCS's vice chancellor for external affairs. "We have already started meeting to identify what our most urgent needs are and what we can do without the resources from the bond."
The bond was approved 53 percent to 47 percent in Harris county, but only received 29 percent of voter support in Montgomery County. A total of 18,771 people voted.
The bond was proposed by LSCS in March to address explosive enrollment growth and the need to expand facilities. LSCS has added 30,000 students in the past five years, with total enrollment rising from 49,267 in 2007 to 77,877 in 2012. Officials are projecting 110,000 students by 2018.
Proposed improvements would have been made across all Lone Star College campuses, including new Magnolia and Creekside satellite centers for the Tomball campus, two new instructional buildings at the Cy-Fair campus and a new student services building and university center at the Montgomery campus.
Laughter said Lone Star College will continue to provide the services it always has as it looks for ways to cope with the projected growth.
"We believe we are highly valued by the community in the services we provide and the difference we make in people's lives," he said. "We don't believe that this was a vote on the college, but on this particular referendum where the voters did not feel there was a need for the additional facilities."
All results are unofficial until canvassed.
Posted 7:19 p.m.
With early voting results tallied throughout the Lone Star College service area, 52.36 percent of voters in Harris and Montgomery counties have voted against the proposed Lone Star College bond referendum, while 47.64 percent of voters have voted in favor of it.
The bond was posed to voters based on school district across Harris, Montgomery and San Jacinto counties, according to LSCS officials. Registered voters in the following districts were eligible to vote: Aldine, Conroe, Cy-Fair, Humble, Klein, Magnolia, New Caney, Spring, Splendora, Tomball and Willis.